Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) come back to home conditions but will be wary of Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), which is showing signs of improvement under a newly-appointed skipper.

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Gautam Gambhir Top KKR run scorer 11/4 Ladbrokes

Out on road for about three weeks, the two-time former champions KKR have played six of their seven away matches on the trot, winning four of them

They are returning to Eden Gardens after a morale-boosting five-wicket win in Bangalore, engineered by Yusuf Pathan and Andre Russell’s power hitting. They were staring at a third successive away loss with 81 needed from six overs but Russell flexed his muscles with a 24-ball 39. Pathan also came to the party smashing bowlers in his 29-ball 60 not out.

KKR cannot afford to sit back as they run into a side who’re finally looking up fresh from their 23-run win against table toppers Gujarat Lions. Having showed some urgency midway into the season, the team handed the captaincy to Murali Vijay, relieving David Miller of the extra burden, something that brought in some fresh air into the camp after they had lost five of their six matches this season.

Fresh from his hat-trick effort, Axar Patel will look to contain the likes of Russell and Pathan on a surface that traditionally aids the spinners. Defending a modest 156, KXIP reduced Lions to 57/6 with Patel (4/21) claiming four wickets in five balls, including the first hat-trick of the season, to pave the way for a 23-run win against table-toppers Gujarat Lions in Rajkot.

Their bowlers might have let them down on previous occasions but the new skipper Vijay backed them and kept on rotating them to unsettle the Lions rhythm. They have to win their remaining matches to stay in the hunt. With their Aussie batsman Shaun Marsh ruled out for the rest of the season with a back injury, South African Farhaan Behardien may get to play but the bigger problem for Vijay would be to address the team’s batting form especially that of Glenn Maxwell who just has a half century from seven matches and scored a duck against the Lions.

Be it their top order in Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa or their middle order, KKR’s batting has been their key to success this season and it will be a big challenge for KXIP’s limited resources.

For the match KKRare best priced 8/15 and KXIP 6/4 which on respective records looks reasonable, especially with KKR at home in conditions that suit their style and attack.

As an alternative to taking cramped outright odds back Gautam Gambhir to be top KKR run scorer at 11/4 with Ladbrokes. Gambhir leads KKRso far in this IPL with 339 runs in 8 matches, 96 ahead of his nearest challenger fellow opener Uthappa

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Gautam Gambhir Top KKR run scorer 11/4 Ladbrokes